1 Kings Chapter 8

Samuel growing old, and his sons not walking in his ways, the people desire a king.

8:1. And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he appointed his sons to be judges over Israel.

8:2. Now the name of his firstborn son was Joel: and the name of the second was Abia, judges in Bersabee.

8:3. And his sons walked not in his ways: but they turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

8:4. Then all the ancients of Israel being assembled came to Samuel to Ramatha.

8:5. And they said to him: Behold thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: make us a king, to judge us, as all nations have.

8:6. And the word was displeasing in the eyes of Samuel, that they should say: Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed to the Lord.

8:7. And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to thee. For they have not rejected thee, but me, that I should not reign over them.

Rejected, etc. . .The government of Israel hitherto had been a theocracy, in which God himself immediately ruled, by laws which he had enacted, and by judges extraordinarily raised up by himself; and therefore he complains that his people rejected him, in desiring a change of government.

8:8. According to all their works, they have done from the day that I brought them out of Egypt until this day: as they have forsaken me, and served strange gods, so do they also unto thee.

8:9. Now, therefore, hearken to their voice: but yet testify to them, and foretell them the right of the king, that shall reign over them.

The right. . .That is, the manner (misphat) after which he shall proceed, having no one to control him, when he has the power in his hand.

8:10. Then Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people that had desired a king of him,

8:11. And said: This will be the right of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and put them in his chariots, and will make them his horsemen, and his running footmen, to run before his chariots,

8:12. And he will appoint of them to be his tribunes, and his centurions, and to plough his fields, and to reap his corn, and to make him arms and chariots.

8:13. Your daughters also he will take to make him ointments, and to be his cooks, and bakers.

8:14. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your best oliveyards, and give them to his servants.

8:15. Moreover he will take the tenth of your corn, and of the revenues of your vineyards, to give to his eunuchs and servants.

8:16. Your servants also, and handmaids, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, he will take away, and put them to his work.

8:17. Your flocks also he will tithe, and you shall be his servants.

8:18. And you shall cry out in that day from the face of the king, whom you have chosen to yourselves: and the Lord will not hear you in that day, because you desired unto yourselves a king.

8:19. But the people would not hear the voice of Samuel, and they said, Nay: but there shall be a king over us,

8:20. And we also will be like all nations: and our king shall judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles for us.

8:21. And Samuel heard all the words of the people, and rehearsed them in the ears of the Lord.

8:22. And the Lord said to Samuel: Hearken to their voice, and make them a king. And Samuel said to the men of Israel: Let every man go to his city.